Argentina - Our experience as laypeople with the "Assumption Family"

The "Family of the Assumption" group of Argentina includes laypeople from the neighbourhoods of the Greater Buenos Aires area and from the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires where the Little Sisters of the Assumption developed their mission and are still carrying it out.

We are people of different ages (women, men, children, teenagers and also whole families) who meet three times during the year to explore the spirituality of the Congregation founded by Etienne Pernet and Mother Marie de Jésus. 
 
We think that this wealth of examples and values is still relevant and can be applied by each of us in daily life. In this way we show the importance expressed by service to our neighbour, by listening, sharing and loving, by looking to faith and hope whether it be in the setting of the family, the neighbourhood, the parish or in whatever field we carry out our work. We propose to show that it is possible to improve reality with simplicity, humility and consistency, as the sisters do. The years we have spent with them enable us to state that this is possible. 
 
The meetings are held in the house of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, on specific dates. The first is in April, to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Father Pernet; the second is in August, the month when we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption; the third is in November, the anniversary of the birth of Mother Marie de Jésus. 
 
"Familia de la Asunción" has a co-ordination group that is responsible for organising the meetings. The members – three LSA and six laypeople – discuss beforehand the themes that we are going to deal with and prepare the agenda. Some meetings were focussed on the details of the life of Father Pernet and Antoinette Fage. In other meetings there was reflection on, for example, hope, humility, love, solidarity, faith etc. 
 
The meetings begin by welcoming the laity who have been invited. The theme to be dealt with is presented, we read the Word (biblical texts that illustrate this theme) and we also share one or more thoughts from Fr Pernet which represent a valuable contribution and a guide. Then, in smaller groups, we meditate on what we have heard and the participants respond to the indications proposed, comment on it, express their experiences and desires, give examples. Afterwards, each group explains its conclusions in front of everybody and makes a commitment or makes a gesture representing what was dealt with. There are also songs that are in keeping with the theme we have chosen. A little souvenir is offered that symbolises the reason why we came together. Each meeting ends with a prayer of thanksgiving and a song. 
To end with, and is the custom in our country, we go to the dining room and enjoy some "mate" (an infusion of maté leaves, a "must" in Argentina), and also tea with some rich cakes and tarts. 
 
Our experience as part of the "Assumption Family" is very agreeable, enriching and positive and, for that reason, we want to share it with the religious and laity throughout the world who are travelling along the same path. 
May God bless you and, please, pray for us. 
 
Irene De Lio, member of the co-ordination group 
11/03/2013
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